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Sunday 18 March 2018

Badu not angry about Malaysia ban

Erykah Badu was barred from performing in Malaysia
Erykah Badu was barred from performing in Malaysia

Erykah Badu says she doesn't hold a grudge against Malaysia's government for barring her from performing.

More than 1,500 people had bought tickets to watch the Grammy-winning American singer at a Kuala Lumpur auditorium on Wednesday.

But Malaysia's information minister announced on the eve of the concert that it could not proceed because a promotional photo of the singer with the Arabic word for Allah painted on her bare shoulders was "an insult to Islam."

"It's sad, because we travelled a long way," she told a news conference. "But I'm totally understanding of (the minister's) protection of the laws and its people. He doesn't want anything to happen. I'm good with that."

The photograph ignited criticism from some politicians and religious groups in Muslim-majority Malaysia after a newspaper published it Monday in a feature to promote Badu's show.

The daily has since apologised for what it called an "oversight" that led to the photo's publication.

Erykah, 41, said the photo was inspired by images from The Holy Mountain, a 1973 surrealist movie by Chilean-French filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky.

"I think art is often misunderstood in the realm of religion, and it's OK," she said.

"In America, it's a lot different. Art is also misunderstood but it is not such a harsh gesture to promote the names of God. I am learning and understanding about Islam in other countries more as we travel."

Press Association

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